EPA Approves Farmers’ Use of “Cyanide Bombs” to Kill Coyotes, Foxes, Wolves and Mountain Lions

The controversial “pesticide” bombs kill thousands of wild animals a year to protect livestock

Dead wolf or coyote near detonated cyanide bomb. Credit: Center for Biological Diversity

The EPA just reauthorized the use of explosive cyanide devices to kill mountain lions, bobcats and wolves to protect cows, pigs and chickens.

These “cyanide bombs” are covered in a sweet scent to attract wildlife. When an animal grabs the device with its teeth it triggers sodium cyanide to blow up in its face:

The M-44 devices kill thousands of animals each year, including endangered species and pets.

While they are touted as being used against “primarily coyotes,” they also kill hundreds of non-target animals, including foxes, bears, raccoon, opossums and skunks.

The weapons are part of a larger wildlife control program run by the USDA called Wildlife Services, which admits to killing over a million wild animals a year to protect livestock.

In 2017 alone, the agency killed more than 1.3 million animals, including:

  • 319 mountain lions
  • 357 gray wolves
  • 552 black bears
  • 1,001 bobcats
  • 3,827 foxes
  • 69,041 coyotes
  • 15,933 prairie dogs
  • 675 river otters
  • 23,646 beavers
  • 624,845 red-winged blackbirds

“EPA is blatantly ignoring its fundamental duty to protect the public, our pets and native wildlife from the cruel, lethal impacts of cyanide bombs lurking on our public lands,” said wildlife attorney Kelly Nokes in a press release.

“Warning signs will not prevent more dogs, wild animals and potentially children from being killed; they cannot read them,” added Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense.